Stephanie Auerbach: Disruptive Woman Causes Plane Diversion

Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 12:58 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Stephanie Heizmann Auerbach was traveling first-class on a Delta flight with her two children Sunday but allegedly became so disruptive after guzzling five glasses of wine in 90 minutes that the plane had to be diverted to Alaska, where she was arrested.

Auerbach, 47, who owns a fashion company based in China, was on a New York to Shanghai Delta Airlines flight via Detroit with her two children. About an hour and a half into the 7,100-mile trip, witnesses said Auerbach became extremely unruly — screaming, cursing, and disobeying flight attendants, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

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According to passenger accounts given to the FBI, Auerbach ordered five glasses of white wine and also consumed other drinks she snuck from the galley without the knowledge of the flight crew. She then began walking up and down the aisles, climbing over seats, and yelling profanities, witnesses said.

"Auerbach spilled alcohol on passenger [identified as] A.J. and grabbed A.J.'s wrist to place a bracelet on A.J. [The passenger] declined to wear the bracelet and asked Auerbach to leave her alone," the charges say. "In response, Auerbach swore at A.J. and demanded that a flight attendant give her A.J.'s name. A flight attendant intervened and returned Auerbach to Auerbach's assigned seat. Auerbach alarmed A.J. and it appeared to A.J. that Auerbach was attempting to gain access to the pilot."

A flight attendant reportedly handed Auerbach a written notice that she had violated in-flight policy. Sources then said Auerbach hit the attendant with the piece of paper, the Daily News reported.

The pilot came out to try and talk Auerbach down, but she reportedly said she would not comply with the crew's instructions. The flight was then diverted to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, where Auerbach was arrested.

She was charged with felony interference of flight crew and members and booked into the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center for women in Alaska.

The children were able to continue on the flight to Shanghai, where their father met them, according to the Daily News.

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Related stories:

Diverted Flight Lands in Memphis After Passenger Tries to Open Door

Flight Diverted to Denver Due to Unruly Passenger

Bomb Threat Call Diverted Southwest Flight, Nothing Found  

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